November 3, 2009

2010 Immigration Plan: Canada to welcome between 240,000 and 265,000 new permanent residents in 2010

Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s 2009 Annual Report is now tabled in the Parliament. This is pursuant to Section 94 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act requiring the Immigration Minister to make such report on or before November 1 of each year or, if a House of Parliament is not then sitting, within the next 30 days on which that House is sitting after that date.

"We have maintained the highest relative level of immigration of any major western country, attracting nearly a quarter of a million permanent residents in 2008. In 2010, we intend to welcome between 240,000 and 265,000 permanent residents", said Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.

While it is true that the process for those that meet specified criteria under the new Federal Skilled Worker program is faster - some are approved in less than six months - the fact remains that the process for those who filed before Feb 27, 2008 is still slow.

“We’ve also brought the backlog of federal skilled worker applicants down from over 630,000 to 425,000—a reduction of more than 30%.” - CIC

Part of the reason, if not the major factor, of the dramatic reduction in backlogs may be attributable to a couple of things:

1. Some, if not most, of those who filed before Feb 27, 2008 that are included in the list of 38 High Demand Occupations actually withdrew their applications and filed their applications to Centralized Intake Office (CIO).

2. Some of those who received Confirmation Letter from the Canadian Visa Office in Manila have withdrawn their application. These are the applicants who are not included in the list of High Demand Occupations and were discourage by the long processing period and the unfair treatment of their applications. Here's an excerpt from the letter:
This letter is in reference to your application for permanent residence in Canada, received in 2005. Citizenship and Immigration Canada requests that you confirm whether or not you are still interested in immigrating to Canada.

If you are no longer interested in immigrating to Canada and you wish to withdraw your application, please contact the Canadian Embassy in Manila within 90 days to confirm your mailing information, and we will return your full application fee.

To date, the Visa Office in Manila is yet to finish processing of applications filed in 2004.

The backlog was reduced, alright. But it would have been better if the backlog was reduced because of faster visa processing not only for those who meet specific criteria but also for those who have been waiting for five years now.

The 2010 Immigration Plan, just the same, looks promising. If your occupation is in the High Demand List, file your application now. The list reflects Canada’s labour market needs and were developed in consultation with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, provinces, territories and other economic experts. There is no official indication yet on when exactly the list will change.

Find out if you are eligible, here's Free Online Assessment